In the aftermath of a disappointing result against Bristol City, we move on the Premier League where we face a resilient Leicester City. We travel to the King Power Stadium where after the appointment of Claude Puel, their season seems to have taken a U-turn for the better.
However, in their last home game against Crystal Palace, they lost 3-0. This result should not make us turn a blind eye to the beautiful football they have been playing recently. They held Manchester City to a draw midweek but ended up losing on penalties. This was all despite resting Mahrez and Vardy. The irony is that these two players missed the decisive penalties that saw them lose the game.
Anyway, Leicester play a 4-2-3-1 with Marc Albrighton, Demarai Gray and Riyadh Mahrez playing right behind Jamie Vardy. Puel likes to rotate the three attacking midfielders with players like Ben Chilwell and Shinji Okazaki. And their squad players also seem to deliver every time they are given a chance.
Their deep lying midfielders are usually Vincente Iborra and Wilfred Ndidi. However, Ndidi was sent off against Palace and is ineligible to face us. So I feel Puel will go for holding mids of Andy King playing next to Iborra.
They have a decent defence as well. I am personally baffled as to why Puel does not make us of Christian Fuchs as much. He is amazing down the flank and a great defensive asset. The signing of Harry Maguire has been excellent business for Leicester. With Huth injured, Maguire has really stepped up. He is a proper ball playing centre half who is not afraid of travelling deep with the ball. if his run is not checked, we could have some serious problems. He also needs to be closely marked during corners. So that is the Leicester side, now let us see the Manchester United side.
In defence, I want to see us play the usual three man defence. Since it has been confirmed that stand in captain Valencia will miss the game, that leaves a gap at right back. Fill it with Darmian? No way. Darmian and Blind were absolutely abysmal against Championship side Bristol. Darmian got turned inside out throughout the game and frankly, it was embarrassing to watch. So I want to see Mourinho slot Ashley Young at right back and play Luke Shaw at left back. Gary Neville approved of this idea. Do it Jose!
In midfield, for me McTominay keeps his place. He has been incredible, though he was at fault for the first goal against Bristol, he was been great overall. Pogba returns from his suspension and walks straight into the squad because clearly, we can not survive without him. I would love to see Mkhitaryan get a run in but I feel Jose will start Lingard for obvious reasons.
Up front, I will go with a front two of Marcus Rashford and Romelu Lukaku. I am a big fan of Marcus Rashford and I haven’t really seen the Martial, Lukaku, Rashford trio click. They do, but it happens once every 3-4 games. I’d bring on Martial in the last 10-15 minutes to finish the game off. So that has been my lineup, let us know what you think of it and hit us with your own preferred lineup.
Predicted lineup: De Gea; Smalling, Lindelof, Jones; Young, McTominay, Pogba, Shaw; Lingard; Rashford, Lukaku.
Predicted score: 2-1 to United (Lukaku, Lingard)